Hey guys! I'm a new Talk Bass member(though I've been reading the forums for a long time), high fives all around! You guys rock! Sorry if this post is a bit long, but I've been holding these questions in my mind for too long. *(Start Background/Intro to the forums) I was a guitar player in a band that plays gigs in the tri-state of NJ, PA, and DE(the greater Delaware Valley). I'll admit it now, I'm a gear whore(and pretty broke, the perfect match of course). Now I've switched to bass more recently to fulfill the needs of the band and to expand my horizons as a musician. I made the switch about 2 years ago and didn't know if the switch would be permanent at the time. I purchased an entry level Hartke half-stack(an HA2500 head and a matching VX410 cab), a Spector Legend 5 String(my main bass) and an Aslin Dane 5 String Music Man knockoff(which I'm still absolutely in LOVE with, it's way better than any Sterling bass or OLP copy I've played). Well now, it's looking like the change(or evolution as another member here put it so elegantly) is going to be a permanent one. I'll still be a 6 or 7 String guitarist at heart, but now I'm going to master the Mid AND Low range. *(/End Background Story) Enough background, I'm looking to upgrade my whole rig because thus far, I've been wanting more out of this heavy gear I have to load and unload constantly. I've got a plethora of options in front of me and I have no clue where to start because there are SO few real bassist in this area and even fewer that actually care about their tone and gear. I attempted to start with upgrading the head to a Line 6 Low Down HD400, which sounded GREAT in the store with the matching cab, but gave terrible results when it made it back to the practice space. I returned the next day after leaving a pretty bad taste in my mouth(no balls, extremely quiet even though the ohms matched, reliable speaker cables, and the amp functioning correctly) and I've craved some better gear ever since. The shops(a few Guitar Centers in driving range, a Sam Ash or two and some crummy local shops) around me carry a pretty lackluster selection of bass equipment (just your typical budget combo amps, few heads and cabs, and even fewer preamps or poweramps). I haven't had a lot of luck getting to try the gear I've had my eye on, so I'll probably have to purchase everything online sadly. I'll condense this part and lay the options I've considered on the table. Options: Light and small are always a plus here.. 1)Your typical bass head and cab layout 2)A Preamp and Power Amp setup to a cab 3)A Mix of 1 and 2(maybe have the preamp in front or in the Effects Loop) Which do you think would make the greatest change in my sound? 1)Upgrade/Get rid of the cab 2)Upgrade/Get rid of the head 3)Add some additional pieces to make it all work(i.e. a Sansamp RPM or RBI, maybe an Eden preamp or something completely different). Gear I've had my eye on: TC Electronics heads and cabs(I've had my eyes on these for a while, but I just got to hear the BH500 head and R210 cab setup) Peavey Tour head Tech 21's Preamps(like the RBI and RPM.) Thanks to this thread for pointing them out to me. (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/sansamp-rbi-vs-rpm-386299/ And as crazy as this may sound, a Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro Rackmount. Thanks to this thread. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/behringer-bass-v-amp-pro-687422/ These are just a few ideas, nothing concrete. I play in band that sounds kind of like Red, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Nonpoint, Taproot, Skindred, something like that, but heavier in some regards. I like really tight, banging bass but when I hit the higher notes I want them to thump pretty evenly, which my Hartke is terrible with, no matter how I EQ it up. Either sounds tinny like a hair metal bassist or smooth but nothing cuts through. We play pretty damn loud(usually one of the louder bands because we actually care about sounding like a bigger, professional band and we know how to tune our stuff up). I play mostly with a pick, but I have like a little hybrid style with some finger picking on cleaner stuff and more intricate parts that call for a lot string skipping. I'm just looking for some guidance from some fellow gear whores that play bass! lol. Money isn't the biggest issue for once in my life, but I'm really trying to keep this below 1K after all is said and done(I'm not making money off of this gear yet sadly!). Sorry for such a lengthy post, but maybe if a few people can offer a little help in each portion, maybe I can get some more concrete thoughts on selecting new gear! Thanks so much to anyone who even took the time to read this!